Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Who Is Average Joe Millionaire?

We've looked at what defines "rich," the affluent's attitudes about saving, and even what wealthy people buy when they go shopping.

But when it comes to day-to-day money decisions, it appears that the lifestyles of the rich and not-so-famous are, well, kind of blasé. They don't live in McMansions or drive Hummers to the gourmet grocery store. They work hard for each paycheck and make everyday decisions to keep their credit cards securely in their wallets. Want to track a millionaire in her natural habitat? Peek out the kitchen window and take a gander at who's next door.

If you haven't heard of the book The Millionaire Next Door, you're due for a trip to the library.

Fellow Fool writer Whitney Tilson consulted the book when he wrote about the habits of highly successful savers a few years ago. The characteristics of the average Joe Millionaire are worth repeating:

  • "More than 80% are ordinary people who have accumulated their wealth in one generation. They did it slowly, steadily, without signing a multimillion-dollar contract with the Yankees..."

  • Less than 20% inherited more than 10% of their wealth, and more than half never received a penny of inheritance.

  • They "wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority... drive the current-model-year automobile."

  • About half have lived in their current home for 20 years or more.

  • 80% are college grads, and 38% have advanced degrees.

  • 20% are retired. Of those still working, about two-thirds are self-employed -- mostly entrepreneurs, but also self-employed professionals, such as doctors and accountants.

  • On average, they invest nearly 20% of their household realized income each year.

  • Their median annual income was a mere $131,000.

Nothing too terribly eye-opening in that list, is there? What really sets millionaires apart is one simple mantra: Spend less money than you make.

Are you a millionaire in the making? If, like in the book, you answer "yes" to the following three questions, you may be well on your way:

1) Were your parents very frugal?
2) Are you frugal?
3) Is your spouse more frugal than you are?

If you're stumped for ways to cut back an already stretched budget, check in with the folks on the Living Below Your Means discussion board. (In true "Millionaire" fashion, you can try it out for free for one month.) They'll make a millionaire out of you in no time.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 506316, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/23/2016 5:54:08 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes